24 February 2015

Getting it Right

Inspired by a post originally published on “A Prayer of Faith” 12 October 2006

Sometimes I think that the main reason why we have computers is to help us develop one of the most important virtues for a Latter-day Saint woman: patience.

Back in 2006, I got a new laptop computer to replace my old built-in-a-third-world-country-and-updated-over-the-years PC. I was able to transfer everything I wanted to keep, and all was well—except that on my new laptop, my preferred software for copying my music CDs to my hard drive now gave me an error message: I couldn’t copy and save anything in the MP3 format, because for some unknown reason there was supposedly no MP3 encoder on my computer. After following a lengthy series of links to other messages, I finally reached one that told me to contact my computer manufacturer.

Through the fascinating procedure called “remote connect,” the technician I was speaking to on the telephone was able to view what I could see on my monitor. He could then direct me verbally and by drawings that appeared on my screen, so that together we could discover why my software was not functioning properly, and exactly how to correct the problem.

After about half an hour of interaction with the technician, I was told to change just one letter in an entry in the Windows registry, and from then on the program worked perfectly. Just one wrong letter kept a program from doing what it was designed to do.

That set me thinking. How often do I fail to live up to my potential, or fail to be an effective instrument in the Lord’s hands, because I have put off repenting of just one small sin; or neglected to open my heart to the influence of the Spirit. Am I letting pride or selfishness keep me from doing what I was designed to do, or being what I was designed to be as a daughter of God?

I was very pleased to allow a qualified technician access to my computer so that he could guide me through a diagnostic procedure until I could rectify the error on my computer. Am I as willing to allow the Lord to help me discover and correct the errors in my actions, my attitudes, or my thinking? Do I take full advantage of the divine “remote connect” available to me through prayer and Scripture study?

Getting a computer problem fixed often takes considerable time and patience. Getting our spiritual glitches corrected obviously requires a lot more time and patience. I hope I can remember that more peace and joy will come into my life as I accept correction and make the changes I need to. Because of the Atonement of our Lord, eventually “getting it right” is indeed a reachable goal.

22 February 2015

Why the Prohibitions in the Word of Wisdom?

Originally published on “A Prayer of Faith” 04 November 2006

For years, many Latter-day Saints have focused heavily on scientific findings to support the Word of Wisdom prohibitions on tobacco, alcohol, coffee, tea, and illegal drugs. Perhaps for many of us, the Word of Wisdom has come to represent 1) scientific truth about nutrition, and 2) obedience to a commandment of God.

Now there seem to be an increasing number of articles in the media reporting the results of health studies which can be interpreted as showing that green tea, black tea, wine, and even coffee may have significant health benefits. Marijuana has been advocated by many in the medical profession for certain kinds of pain relief. Although tobacco, the over-consumption of strong alcoholic drinks, and the use of certain drugs may always remain frowned upon by scientists, we may soon find that moderate amounts of wine, black and green tea, coffee, and even presently illegal drugs are routinely recommended by researchers and doctors to treat or prevent certain illnesses.

Is it possible we have the priorities reversed?

Entering a New Stage of Life, and Returning to Blogging

October 4, 2014 marked the beginning of a new stage in my life. My beloved husband of more than 48 years passed from mortality into the Spirit World, and I passed from being a wife, to being a widow.

As I have been pondering what I would like to spend my time on, the thought of returning to blogging has come back into my mind. I originally used a pseudonym in my writing, because my husband was serving as a general authority in the LDS church when I started to blog, and I didn’t want him to suffer from any backlash that my opinions might engender. But he was released from that calling many years ago, and now that he has embarked on a mission in another realm, I am content to allow those who read my words to know my real name.

While I mull over what new subjects to write about, I have decided to publish here some of the essays that originally appeared on “A Prayer of Faith,” a group blog which has since disappeared from the Internet.